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Home > Living & Working in New Zealand > Getting a Visa

Getting a Visa

Visa Application Options - in brief

  • For those who are under 31 at the time of their application, and want to stay in New Zealand for only a maximum of 23 months (12 months only for some nationalities) and work for up to one year in the same job or have a variety of jobs the Working Holiday Visa is the better option.
  • For those who are over 30 years old, but who don't want to emigrate, a Work Visa is your only option outside of a Residency visa.
  • For those who have already decided that they wish to come to New Zealand permanently, Residency visa is the only option.

NB: Everyone entering New Zealand on any kind of visa for more than 12 months must now have completed the appropriate NZIS medical forms prior to visa application.

Working Holiday Visas (WHV)

You have to be aged 30 or under. These used to be very restricted, both in terms of the nationalities they were available to and the number that were issued. This is a constantly changing situation so we recommend that you check the NZIS web site to see what currently applies to you. The general concept of a WHV is to allow young people to travel and work to pay their way around the world. They do allow you to work in any paid job, not just those within your profession.

Work Visa

To apply you must first have a job offer. eNZed Paramedical is very familiar with this process. Once you have accepted a job via eNZed Paramedical, we will prepare a package and send it to you, which will contain your job offer letters and all the papers you need to complete a work visa application including instructions on how to do this as speedily as possible. You can download the application forms from NZIS web site or we can do that and send them with your offer package if downloading is a problem.

For the last 15 years, no therapist using eNZed Paramedical has ever been declined a work visa for any reason relating to their job offer or professional qualifications. When a Work Visa is granted, you can later have it extended or apply for residency whilst working. An application for a work visa with all the required documents can take the New Zealand Immigration Office in your country 30 working days to process but frequently takes much less than this, especially if submitted in person or courier rather than by standard post.

Do not attempt to apply for a work visa until you have a job offer, as it will not be accepted for processing.

As long as the stated procedures are followed correctly, the gaining of a work visa is not difficult. It is issued specific to the employer offering your first job. NB: A work visa is specific to a named applicant, in a named job, for a named employer, for a stated finite time. Should you accept an initial contract and after completing that get another job with a different employer, you would need to apply for another permit for that. This is also not difficult to get, provided second job must also meet Immigration requirements.

Visitors Visa

It is possible to enter New Zealand on a Visitors Visa, and then apply for a Work Permit. The process is exactly the same as for a Work Visa. The Immigration Officer at the airport does have the right to deny you entry, or severely curtail the length of time granted on your Visitor's Visa. We have known this to happen to a therapist.

You also need to consider your own financial risk if you arrive with insufficient funds to last you until you can start work.

This option is only recommended in situations such as if you are planning extensive travel between leaving your own country and arriving in New Zealand and you are not eligible for a Working Holiday Visa.

Residency Visas

For people considering applying for New Zealand Residency the situation is far too complex and rapidly changing to be able to cover adequately in a general guide such as this. Therapists are one of the most highly sought after groups of potential immigrants, provided they meet all the stated criteria. eNZed Paramedical recommends that you discuss this with New Zealand Immigration directly and ourselves before proceeding with this option. New Zealand Immigration has an excellent web site which includes a self assessment form for the points system they use.

All the information you need to apply is available free, directly from NZIS. Should you chose to use an Immigration Consultant, eNZed Paramedical advises extreme caution in the selection of the company you use, as there is no legislated customer protection system in this field outside New Zealand.


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Last Modified: 20 November 2014